Day of Data: Rockets - a NASA and Microsoft Hacking STEM partnership

Celebrate data with NASA and Microsoft!

We're excited to partner with NASA to bring you the Day of Data: Rockets program, where your students explore how data powers our astronauts, our space missions, and our world. Celebrate data with on-demand conversations with astronauts, lesson plans, and virtual experiences. Prepare your students for the future by tapping into their creativity and curiosity with NASA and Microsoft Hacking STEM. Take them on a journey to outer space!

Immerse your students in a fun and interactive data science project as you celebrate your own Day of Data. Choose from two 50-minute activities that are suitable for remote learning. Two levels are offered, depending on your students’ comfort with data, to meet them where they are and get them excited! Your students can explore data in a self-paced Excel workbook, and have the option to reflect on their experiences using Flip. Don't forget to check out the video overview of each workbook to get started!

Stage 1 - Introduction to Data

Launch your students on their data exploration journey with a self-paced, online Excel activity that introduces beginning concepts for understanding and using data.

Age: 8-12 years old

Length: 50 minutes

Lesson highlights:

  • Introduction to data and types of data
  • Understand how data can be organized and sorted with tables
  • Experience how data can be visualized with a chart to gain valuable insights
  • Document student learning in a Flip video and a reflection journal

Learning standards:

  • NGSS 5-PS1-2. Measure and graph quantities such as weight to address scientific and engineering questions and problems.
  • CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.B.3. Draw a scaled picture graph and a scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step "how many more" and "how many less" problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs.
  • ISTE 5b. Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.

Resources:

View Stage 1 video overview

Open Stage 1 Excel workbook and lesson plan

Open Stage 1 PDF lesson plan

View Stage 1 Flip prompts

Illustration of a magnifying glass showing rocket blasting off from earth and bar graph themed as a skyline.

Stage 2 - Introduction to data visualization

Launch your students on their data visualization journey with a self-paced, online Excel activity that introduces them to visualizing data using charts.

Age: 10-15 years old

Length: 50 minutes

Lesson highlights:

  • Introduction to common chart types and their purpose
  • Experience how simple charts can be used to gain insights when you have two data categories
  • Explore how more complex charts can be used to interpret data when you have three data categories
  • Document student learning in a Flip video and a reflection journal

Learning standards:

  • NGSS MS-ESS1-3. Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.
  • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.7.RP.A.2. Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
  • ISTE 5b. Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them, and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.

Resources:

View Stage 2 video overview

Open Stage 2 Excel workbook and lesson plan

Open Stage 2 PDF lesson plan

View Flip Stage 2 prompts

Illustration of a magnifying glass showing International Space Station orbiting around earth, and stacked bar chart.

The lesson plans are built using these principles:

  • Relevance. Data Science is one of the fastest growing professions (Bureau of Labor Statistics), every industry needs data analytics – including business in all sectors, healthcare, education and every form of social programming. Inspiring the advance of NextGen’s data analytics skills is to stimulate reasoning, discourse, and decision-making, ultimately creating a smarter world for us all.
  • Equity for All. Multimodal, dynamic, scaffolded instructions support learners at multiple readiness levels and from diverse backgrounds.
  • Accessibility. Designed to open doors to student participation in the data science revolution, these lessons are supported on any internet-enabled device. Use a larger screen (laptop or desktop) for the best experience.
  • Aligned to Standards. All activities are aligned to key Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards.

Hear from astronauts, rocket scientists, and space tourists!

Thank you to everyone who was able to join our live events! Show your students these recordings to supplement lessons with real world examples of how people from industry use data:

  • Live event #1 (filmed October 14, 2020): Meet astronaut Stephen G. Bowen, engineer Christine Reilly, and engineer Erik López as they speak about the impact data has had on their careers.
  • Live event #2 (filmed November 2, 2020): Astronaut Richard R. Arnold II, engineer Christine Reilly, and engineer Jason Bush answer questions from students about their experiences and careers.
  • Live event #3 (filmed November 18, 2020): Astronaut Charlie Duke and space tourist / Excel founder Charles Simonyi speak with Elaine Ho from NASA about their experiences living in space and working with data.

Photo of a NASA astronaut in space.

Space Data Camps

If you would like a guided experience in your classroom or want to celebrate data with your family, visit the Microsoft Store virtually through a ‘Space Data Camp’ where a Microsoft Store team member will walk you through the experience. Participants can earn a digital certificate of completion and a virtual Space Data badge.

Data Camps are free interactive online workshops built to make learning key skills fun for students. This new Data Camp is about space, rockets, and astronauts!

Join a Space Data Camp

Illustration of Space Data badge.

Want more?

Explore a large data set about rockets and see what insights you can find! View the workbook.

You can integrate other hands-on STEM projects into your classroom! Try projects such as building a robotic hand, making a battery out of a lemon, or measuring water quality. Visit https://aka.ms/HackingSTEM to learn more.

Have feedback?

We would love to hear your thoughts on the Day of Data: Rockets materials! Let us know what works well for you, what could be better, and what you'd like to see in the future.

Get in touch.

Teacher resources